With the In focus column, Offshore Energy delivers a weekly snapshot containing the most relevant energy transition items from each of the offshore energy markets.

When it comes to low carbon fuels, the energy transition sometimes looks like a race in which the odds change week by week. To make it more easy for the bookmakers, we present some recent developments about the participants in this race.

Young gun hydrogen had a boost this week when ten new companies joined the AquaVentus offshore wind-to-hydrogen project, including Ørsted, Equinor, and Royal Boskalis Westminster. Other major industry players are already on board.

The project’s offshore wind farms, with a total capacity of 10 GW, would be built between the Heligoland island and the Dogger Bank sandbank by 2035, and the electricity they generate would be used to produce hydrogen at offshore electrolysis plants.

Team LNG was pleased to hear from the maritime classification society American Bureau of Shipping (ABS). The society published a study that demonstrates LNG’s potential to help reach low carbon goals in the shipping industry.

Almost nine out of ten respondents of the survey agreed that LNG has a key role to play in reaching IMO 2050. Among six fuel types, it landed the clear majority of the votes.

Good ol’ oil, whose odds look bleak in this future fuel race, put its best foot forward this week. North Sea oil and gas player NEO Energy has revealed a set of ambitions to reduce the carbon intensity per barrel of oil equivalent produced by its portfolio by 50 per cent by 2030.

To achieve this, NEO said it will invest in technology and systems, such as the full or partial electrification of its operations, required to reduce carbon output.

Companies like Royal IHC watch these developments on future fuels. To realise the company’s vision of zero emissions and a more sustainable future, Royal IHC is actively cooperating with stakeholders – including national governments, customers and suppliers. These collaborations result in new types of sustainable vessels.

When it comes to betting on all horses in a race, the Danish presented an aid scheme to support electricity production from renewable sources, namely onshore wind turbines, offshore wind turbines, wave power plants, hydroelectric power plants and solar PV.

Wavepiston wave device test string (Courtesy of Michael Henriksen/Wavepiston)

The aid, approved under the EU State aid rules, will be awarded through a competitive tendering procedure organised in 2021-2024.

Initiatives like this will spur innovation in the offshore energy industry. Like the project Mincon Group and its partners Subsea Micropiles, the National University of Ireland and the University of Limerick are working on. They will design and build a prototype robotic drilling system and anchor template for the installation of micropile anchor foundations.

The focus is to develop micropiles for subsea anchoring use with the goal of reducing the cost of offshore wind by up to 20 per cent. That is good news for the energy transitions race!

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